Doctors forced to work overnight shifts at last minute in NHS staffing crisis

The Guardian reports that hospital doctors are being sent home from daytime shifts and told to come back and work overnight, a stark illustration of the NHS’s crippling staff shortage.

Hospital bosses are forcing last-minute shift changes on junior doctors – trainees below the level of consultant up to the level of senior registrar – because staff sickness and the scarcity of locum medics has left them struggling to ensure patients’ safety is maintained overnight.

One trainee doctor in south-west of England told how they started their shift as planned at 8am. However, “by mid-morning the doctor that was meant to be working that night, that I would hand over to, had called in ill”.

They added: “As day shifts are easier to cover by pulling other doctors from clinics and educational opportunities I was asked to leave work and come back that night to work the on-call night shift instead.”

Full story in The Guardian, 11 July 2022